A blog for my writerly ramblings, my rambly writings, and all things in between.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Why I Can't Stand Commercials With LGBTQ Characters

It happens pretty much every other day now it seems: a company puts out a commercial in which there are two dads, or two moms, and then somebody gets offended and complains, and then half the planet loses their minds going up in arms in defense of this company, and it's a social media frenzy, and so on and so forth.

It's all done in the name of acceptance and equality, but there's one problem with that:

It has nothing to do with acceptance and equality.

It has to do with money.

And if you're one of those people who will get all up in arms in defense of these companies "promoting equality and acceptance" then you, my friend, have just been played.

Here's the deal. Do you know how many people in America identify as gay or lesbian?


If you're a big, moneymaking corporation, does it make sense for you to gear all of your advertising dollars toward 3.8% of your consumer pool? To spend the millions that it costs for a 30-second time slot in a commercial break to make sure that 3.8% of your customers feel comfortable shopping at your store?

This is not a hard question. The answer is no. It makes no business sense at all.


Unless that 3.8% is getting a lot of controversial attention. Unless that 3.8% has a big fan club. When that happens, it makes a lot of sense to gear an ad toward that group, because it means that ad is going to become a flag that will be raised on the moral battleground. And that means people are going to start waving that flag by sharing that ad on social media! And talking about it, and talking about your business and, if you handle it correctly (which you are obviously planning on doing, because you're not stupid- it's all part of the marketing plan) and you reply to the "haters" with some sort of fantastic "drop the mic" response, then your company comes out as the hero and everyone loves you and comes and shops at your store!

Oh, and you just got a ton of free publicity thanks to all those LGBTQ supporters and that handy little "share" button.

Seriously. Anyone who thinks a big company puts an ad featuring two moms out there and that the company expects it to be received just like any other ad is simply naive. These companies aren't "brave." They aren't doing this to promote equality and acceptance. They're doing it to drive sales! They know exactly what will happen when that ad hits the airwaves- and not only that, but they're banking on it! 

So this holiday season, if you want to promote acceptance and equality for your LGBTQ friends, then stop sharing these ads and the stories about who said what about them and how the company handled the haters. Instead, then invite your gay friends to dinner. Treat them like the nice people they are. But please, please don't get sucked into a corporate marketing scheme that uses them as bait to make their business more money. 

Because, hopefully, you're smarter than that.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Let's Pretend

Okay, so it's the night before Election Day. The country is divided. Few people actually like their options, but they claim there are no other options.

I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness saying, "What about Evan McMullin? He's the conservative we've all been looking for- one who is actually honest and honorable and humble and respectful, who will represent our country with dignity and integrity. What about him?"

"No!" everyone yells. "No! There's no way he's gonna win! We have to pick someone who at least has a chance. If he had a chance then maybe, but he doesn't."

 Okay. Let's pretend.

Let's pretend that suddenly, a new poll emerges that shows Evan McMullin making a massive surge in popularity. Suddenly, people ARE voting for him, suddenly he's actually a real threat to Trump and Clinton. What then? Would you change your mind then, once you saw he actually had a chance?

If you say "Yes, if I saw that he had a chance, then I would," then I need you to recognize something:

You have just told me that you are the kind of person who can't make a good decision unless you see others doing it first. You are a follower. You are a sheep. You want to do the right thing, but you don't- not unless others are doing it too. You wait until you see what everyone else is doing and then you act.

You are the one who waits for someone else to raise their hand and say, "Um, excuse me, I don't think this is right." Then you look around and wait to see what everyone else does. Then, if you can rest assured you will be nicely hidden among the masses, only then, do you raise your hand and add your voice to theirs.

That might be a hard truth for you to hear, but it's the truth.

In this pretend poll-flipping scenario, Evan McMullin is still Evan McMullin. Donald Trump is still Donald Trump. The only thing that has changed is what everybody else is doing. 

Do you really want to be that person who only acts after they wait to see what everybody else is doing? Because right now, if everyone who says they would vote for Evan McMullin if he only had a chance to win would actually vote for Evan McMullin, you know what? He might actually have a chance to win, or at least throw a big enough wrench in the system to make a significant statement to the nation about what we as Americans expect from our leaders.

But they won't vote for him. Because they're scared. Because they're looking around at everyone else and seeing which way the crowd is going and quietly sliding in amongst the masses where it's safe and comfortable. They won't move away from the crowd unless someone else- a LOT of someone elses- do it first. And that's just sad.

If this is you, and you are just going along with the crowd, I urge you to think about who you are and who you want to be.

I can tell you that I won't be that person waiting for everyone else to make my choice for me. I will stand with Evan McMullin, even if it means I'm standing alone. I refuse to hide in the crowd and wait to be told what to do.

I hope you'll do the same.